So far, the best I’ve used and gotten furthest with is Ramify Games Visual Novel creator. It’s mobile, easy, interesting and fun. However, it doesn’t (to my knowledge) have a few things that I want to eventually incorporate into my interactive fictional adventures:
- Integrate movies with a click or unlock during the flow – I have some 3d short film that I’ve created as a proof of concept; if I can add this with a “Change Vars,” movie = name, that solves the problem right there to play the movie inside of the scene. After playing, the scene would resume the exact spot in the visual novel as pre-film, OR, optionally, a new, “Start scene,” which is used right after the movie is played. The use case, after the movie where the monster dies, the hero sees the treasure, etc, as the “prize,” in the story is played, the new scene to startup is with the bloody carcass blurry in the background of the evil dragon. Or similar.
- Easily integrate the above features with say, Ramify Games Jstory or similar and export to the Baker format for compilation into iBooks, Android or iOS stores. This way, it would be possible to monetize the exported product (interactive fiction, visual novel, cross platform game, etc) within each of those distribution channels. With the tracking of say, Google Analytics or similar, you could even optimize the purchase, retention, enjoyment of features, provide extra “call backs,” to the server later on to extend the story and more.
The way I see it, a great platform like this one already exists. The open web is very, very powerful. I played with HTMLVN recently, downloaded a program called Belle and more. As a part time author, I’d love to pay for an upgrade. Help design a product. But, I’m too busy.
Thus posting this wishlist here, because I’d be happy to help support any project that opens up these avenues, as that project will also start to earn a TON of money on affiliate fees, running an aggregated store for downloads, offering marketing / distribution help & more.
To me, this is the very best blueprint for games of the 21st century. For even more fun, check out this list of game design tips from way back. It’s fantastic advice, and if these “loops,” could be optimized, expanded, machine learned & tracked, it would extend the ideal product far, far into the future.
With haptics and emotion tracking, it becomes even possible to personalize and improve the game the more it’s played. Truly revolutionary.